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All the range, none of the anxiety: How far could you travel on electricity alone in a Plug-In Hybrid?

  • 21 September 2021
  • 6 min read

For all of the excitement around the glowing green goodness inherent in electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, and their significantly reduced environmental impacts, there’s also a touch of trepidation among some people who are new to this cutting-edge technology.

Some people also felt like that about the internet, and smart phones, back in the day, too, before realising how truly game-changing new technology can be.

But with the launch of Mitsubishi’s brand-new Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid SUV, there’s never been a better time to become familiar with what an electrified vehicle can do.

You’ll discover that a plug-in hybrid is nowhere near as technologically intimidating as it sounds, as well as learn how easy and user-friendly they are to drive and charge, and how buying one will ultimately, wonderfully, save you a lot of money in fuel costs.

All while leaving you with that jolly green glow.

As with all hybrid vehicles, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid comes with both an internal-combustion engine (ICE) and a battery-powered electric motor (or in the case of the Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid, twin electric motors – one at the front delivering 60kW/137Nm, and one at the rear delivering 70kW/195Nm).

What is the range of a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross? A 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers those two high-output electric motors, giving the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross a battery range of 55km* when driving in its all-electric EV mode.

How far can a Mitsubishi go on one charge? Put it this way — the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross battery capacity of 13.8kWh is more than enough to ensure the average driver doesn’t even need to plug in once a day.

In 2020, the average Australian driver drove 36.4km a day, making the Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid’s all-electric driving range more than enough to cover the average daily commute, giving drivers the freedom to travel using electric power only — a boon for the back pocket in terms of fuel savings, and a gift to the planet in terms of reducing emissions.

Think about your own daily commute, or weekly driving habits, and the chances are you’ll drive even less than the average. For a lot of people, two or three recharges a week would be enough to keep you in silent-running, eco-friendly EV Mode.

The Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid’s EV driving mode also allows a top speed of 135km/h - enough to technically exceed the freeway speed limit (not that we’re encouraging that) in every state and territory, proving that a modestly sized battery can still pack quite a punch.

Using the 36.4km a day average as a benchmark, this means you would be required to charge your Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid each night to ensure you have a fully charged battery for the following day’s drive.

The good news is that fully charging an empty battery in the Eclipse Cross takes around seven hours when using a standard domestic 230/240V wall socket at home. That means you get home, plug in, and know that you’ll be fully charged long before your morning commute begins.

The charging time drops to just four hours when using a 230V/16A home wall-box charger or public AC charger, and drops even further if you’re using a DC fast charger, which can get your Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid’s battery up to 80 per cent charged after a mere 25 minutes.

While around 80 per cent of people will charge their vehicle at home by connecting it to a 230/240V power outlet or a wall-box charger, it’s reassuring to know that Australia’s infrastructure of public charging stations is continuing to grow, along with the EV market.

Currently there are more than 2500 public charging stations in Australia, with more on the way, and these range from free AC chargers to DC fast chargers that usually come with a fee (although some are free, like the NRMA’s network of fast chargers that come at no cost to members).

Still, the cost of using a charger is a steal compared to petrol prices: Australia’s Electric Vehicle Council estimates that the average cost of fuel for an internal-combustion vehicle is $1.50 per litre, compared to a much cheaper 0.33c per litre for electric cars that are charged with a standard AC charger (if you’re charging your Plug-in Hybrid from a renewable-energy source like solar power, however, your charging cost goes down to a nice, clean zero).

Public DC fast chargers on average charge a fee of around 40 cents/kWh, meaning you could fully charge a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid’s 13.8kWh battery for $5.52 (some fast chargers, however, will also charge a fee per minute of use).

If you’re doing more than the Australian average of 36.4km of driving a day and don’t have the time or ability to stop your car to recharge the lithium-ion battery, fear not: that’s when the Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid’s powerful 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine kicks in, delivering a robust 94kW of power and 199Nm of torque.

Besides the all-electric EV mode, the Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid has two other driving modes that utilise the petrol engine: Series Hybrid, which uses the petrol engine as a generator to power the e-motors while the wheels are driven with electricity only, and Parallel Hybrid, which combines both electric and petrol power to drive the wheels.

The Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid also sips 91 RON regular unleaded fuel and boasts a fuel-economy claim of 1.9 litres per 100km**, making it an incredibly fuel-efficient vehicle, no matter which drive mode you choose.

Besides powerful performance and a stellar driving experience, the greatest thing that a car like the Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid offers is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re being kinder to the environment (its CO2 output of 43g/km*** is 75 per cent less than the conventional petrol version of the same Mitsubishi), and peace of mind that you’ll always have a reliable, petrol-powered engine to back up your battery-powered e-motors should you need it. Which means the great Aussie road trip is still, and always will be, an option.

Still, the all-electric 55km range* of the Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid should be more than enough to cover your daily travel requirements, and a simple overnight charge of the battery at home will top it up with maximum ease and minimum fuss.

The fact that the Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid’s hybrid technology will save you precious money by reducing your fuel costs, at the same time as you reduce your personal carbon emissions - that’s some very sweet, and no doubt green, icing on the cake.

More information on the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid.

*55km is dyno lab test result according to NEDC driving cycle and does not represent real world driving.

**1.9L/100km is dyno lab test result according to NEDC driving cycle and does not represent real world driving or fuel consumption.

***43g/km is dyno lab test result according to NEDC driving cycle and does not represent real world driving or CO2 emissions.